The book's inheritance is the same Family which appeared in last year's The Pact -- this one is far duller -- a bland bowl of, D-Zerta beginning with silver-headed Olympia Carlona and other mourners at her fabulously rich husband Jock's graveside: ""It was a day without drama without visible emotion. Like the people. . . . For the first time in many years Olympia sensed a wave of feeling for Jock wash over her. The feeling was pity. . . . There was no son left to mourn him, to carry the Carlona name into the world of political power that Jock had wanted for his sons. All dead, her sons and Jock's. All four dead, she had always believed, because of Jock's ambition that had driven them to do his will instead of trying to make good lives for themselves. She had hated him for it, blamed him for her losses."" Thus this degenerates into a boneless, toothless, barely breathing tale about Eastern seaboard Italians that evokes a new kind of pain beyond boredom.